tv [untitled] February 4, 2011 9:30pm-10:00pm PST
commissioner moore: this is a question that i would like some feedback on because it is taking point with the high density along transit corridors and damned if you do and damned if you don't, but the park falls under that discussion and i would be interested to have some debrief on that subject matter. >> we have spent two hours with the f.h.a. talking about that issue and the building itself blocks a large, large majority of the emissions from the bay bridge and having the building there is an extraordinary percentage and when you are
going downhill, you are not committing nearly as much and the parks point of view and we will confirm all of this, and far better off with the building than it would have been without the building and the level of noise, noise drops from 82 decibels to around 60 and with the building and will be similar to the other city parks and will have way less pollution than if it was a single part by itself. commissioner moore: appreciate that. thank you. >> i think we have long seen the need for parks or a park in the rincon hill area and is one of the deficiencies we have had and will come with the territory and will be the density and certainly i think we all realize
a park is needed and this is an efficient way of doing things and there has been precedent where we have done in-kind developments that are often done much more efficient i will than paying the money and having someone else contract it out to actually do it and i think this is a very good idea. and i would be supportive and to do something similar in another context in an entirely different situation where we have the renter do the improvements with more expertise in these areas. i think it's a good system. >> commissioner sugaya. commissioner sugaya: i would like to understand what we're doing here. so that the developer is on the hook, so to speak, for a couple million dollars into the rincon hill fee. we are talking now about taking about $1.5 million of that what
he's on the hook for so to speak and committing it specifically to this particular project. is that right? >> that is right. the $1.5 million would be committed to this project pending park-rec to the design and if that is not worked out by the first certificate of occupancy and we have a more, a different mechanism to hold the funds that is letter of credit and it is everyone's intention and the project sponsor and the city to work that out so that we have an option in place. if not, we do have a backup mechanism. >> otherwise, i don't think this will happen but let's say it's not approved so the same amount of money that is put into the fund would be allocated to other projects or would be allocated to this project in a different
way? >> from the project sponsor chose to pay the fees and rather than it would go into the rincon hill fund with the department and the board determining this project or another project in the planning area. >> thank you. and then another with the proposed park spaces, was that necessary for the density or the open space requirements? >> we worked to make sure we weren't double counting and the required space for the residential drawing units is on the southern portion and this is completely separate. president miguel: i would approve to move the fee waiver.
secretary avery: commissioners t motion on the floor is for approval. on that motion, commissioner antonini. >> aye. >> commissioner fine. >> aye. >> commissioner moore. >> aye. >> commissioner sugaya. >> aye. >> commissioner olague. >> aye. thank you. that passes unanimously. vice president olague: we're going to take a 15-minute break. >> thank you. secretary avery everyone make sure your cell phones are turned off, thank you. commissioners, you are now on item number 10, 3987 20th street. >> you have before you a request for a project proposing to construct a three-story horizontal edition and roof deck
at the rear of a single-family dwelling at 3987 20th street in the rh-1 district and also the d.r. filers are the adjacent neighbors and the neighborhood association and the delores neighborhood association. and the concern is that the project impacts the mid block open space on the block. and that sets presence dent for encroachment with the mid block open space and that it would cause adverse impact on the adjacent building to the west. this project came before you on the 20th of january and at that time you continued it to today at the request of the d.r. requesters, for staff, and for everyone involved to take a look at the renderings that were produced at that time as they were said to be inaccurate.
and last week you should have received information from the requester do to that respect from the d.r. and more recently an email from the project sponsors. the most glaring difference that i could see in evaluating the renderings that were produced by the d.r. requester and by the project sponsor side is that on the d.r. requester's property which is the adjacent property to the west on the renderings, there is a fence that has vegetation on it on the west side of that property so the uphillside of the adjacent property and that is not shown on the original wednesdayering that came before you on the 20th. -- of the original rendering that came before you on the 20th. the project was granted a rear yard variance back in 2009. that variance was appealed by
the same d.r. requester through the board of appeals and where it was upheld. the department supports the project. we don't think that it is an exceptional or extraordinary circumstance. we feel that the addition to the design is done sensitively and steps down to the open space and is not a massive block that's encroaching into this open space. and also it is set back from the west side of the property line as indicated in the renderings to provide that view between the uphill building and the subject building. also to go back a moment, the d.r. requesters are asking that you take d.r. and remove the roof deck on top of the building and also that you shorten the depth of the overall addition by 5 1/2 feet. this concludes my presentation. and didn't want to show you any renderings because i am sure you will see a bunch in the
presentation and i am available for any questions or comments. thank you. vice president olague: thank you. secretary avery: before you move on, we need to note that commissioner miguel was not here for the hearing. if you would like to state for the record whether you have reviewed this. president miguel: i have looked at all of the original hearings proceedings. secretary avery: thank you. vice president olague: and we'll hear from the d.r. requesters first. >> is the overhead working? >> i'm pam hill with the delores heights improvement club which is a residential neighborhood organization. membership is open to all persons residing in the area bounded by castro, 18th, dolores and 22nd. our board and our design review
committee are composed of volunteers. we hold monthly open meetings, host an annual neighborhood party in the fall, and support neighborhood cleanup of stairways and public areas and an awareness of issues like earthquake preparedness and crime prevention. we have approximately 98 household members. the dolores heights improvement club began in the 1960's as a local neighborhood organization concerned about neighborhood issues in the in the 1970's, there were large apartment buildings at the bottom of the hill. and we live on 21st street and others who worked with the planning department to create the doloes heights special use district in section 241 of the planning code in 1980.
there is a sanchez and 21st that is a memorial to audrey and her work that the dolores heights special district is from 19th to 22nd. and from church to noi. it is not ef house. it is not ef house. it is not every house. it provides for a 35-foot height limit instead of the more usual 40 foot limit and a 45% rear yard setback instead of a 25% rear yard setback. our neighborhood has seen good projects like 700 sanchez which is now under construction where project sponsors have negotiated with neighbors and other projects that have been contentious. the concern of neighbors about projects are important to dhic as we hope to live, continue to live in a community and we feel
that it is important that project sponsors engage with neighbors from the beginning to minimize problem. we encourage project sponsors to make presentations to our board and answer any questions that the community may have. the project sponsor at 775 sanchez recently presented to us and worked o it a successful xroiz with his neighbors and -- successful comprise with his neighbors and construction is proceeding. we would like to avoid d.r. we are also interested in following the residential guidelines of the special use district, guidelines designed to protect our open space, the groanness of our neighborhood -- the greenness of the our neighborhood and limit heights to 35 feet. the 3987 20th street project has been a very problematic project in terms of design and of negotiations with the neighbors. under your scale and size in the dolores heights residential
goings, the floor area of a newer and enlarged buildingen the 25-foot wide lot should not exceed 100% of the area of the lot. the building as currently existing is at 90% and will exceed this number significantly if built as currently proposed. the extensive roof deck wills adversely impact the privacy of neighboring properties. this project presently comes within six feet of the 25% setback. basically erasing our protected rear yard space. if each property in the dolores special heights use district were allowed this latitude, taking this to set a precedent, the dolores special heights use would be totally mitigated. the raise to the rear fence will leave little greenfully a supposeedly green san francisco. which we lose will be permanently lost as we cover our open space with buildings. the scope of this project is in
conflict with the dolores special heights use district and the residential guidelines allowing it to be built not only sets a bad precedent but hurt all the dolores special use height property owner and undermines the intent of our guidelines. and this is a picture, it doesn't show up very well, but part of this block is not in the dolores heights -- i believe you have those in your packet. there is a lot more green in inside the special use district than there is outside. the buildings are much larger and the yards are smaller and we would like to remain a green neighborhood and have our district recognized. thank you. [bell ringing]
>> good afternoon, commissioners. i am liz clark and an adjacent neighbor to have 721 sanchez street. ever since the project sponsors said we know someone in the planning department so you're going to lose, the events that have led us here today have been frustrating at best and appalling at worst. as beginners, we have had no choice but to trust and respect the city's process and we have exerted every effort and explored every avenue per city documentation and city recommendations to discuss and comprise on a scaled down version of the submitted plans but gotten nowhere with the professional developers and the high-powered team. instead, we have been bullied, threatened, and derided throughout. today we are asking that you please modify the plans. please take a look at section 241 of the dolores special use district and ply it to this project. building out 11 feet into the special use district is taking a
huge chunk out of very limited and valuable green space that should be protected at all costs. as described in the residential guidelines as a significant community amenity and the emphasis should be on community. the residential guidelines also specifically state that homes should be designed to provide larger rear yard setbacks rather than smaller. the developer should be made to follow city-approved code as this is the reason for it. the neighbors have never suggested that the developers not build. we have financed a top san francisco architect to draw many alternatives that meet the programmatic goals but it's all fallen on deaf ears. another point at impasse is the proposed top floor roof deck. no matter the size or position of this thing, this will allow direct and complete visual access into my living area as well as others. the peace and quiet and the
privacy that enjoyed, i must say as a single woman living in the city, the thought of multiple people being able to look directly into my home is just plain creepy and i hope you will deny this. when discussing this proposed top floor deck during the presentation at the board of appeals, board member fung stated, i am not supportive of roof decks in areas that are not very dense and therefore, i am not supportive of the spiral stair and roof deck here. even though mr. paul has indicated there are a number of roof decks, we know there are an extensive number of decks in the neighborhood, but the difference between a deck coming off the side of a building and one that is the roof and its impact in terms of noise and other things is quite different. all board of appeals members oppose the roof deck and staircase and we hope you will
today as well. many of the facts that the project sponsors have used to support their pro-roof deck argument are inaccurate or completely false. they state large decks at 721 sanchez take up nearly the entire rear yard hanging directly over the shared property line. as you can see from their own exhibit c, this is completely false. here is my property. if i did what they are suggesting, my deck would look like a landing strip. as a matter of fact, the description of what they purport my property to be doing is what they want to do, they want to cover nearly their entire yard and look over everyone else's property. also you can see there are no other roof decks in the area. as mr. fung stated given the layout of the corner, this
proposed deck should not exist either. please hold this addition back and deny the roof deck. the whole excuse of they have a smaller lot, they should be able to build a bigger house is ridiculous and greedy. this whole thing is up. ed up and bloated just like it was on steroids. this is -- we all know this is just another project for the developer's portfolio but these are our homes and our properties that we love and cherish and we're asking today to please help us protect them. thank you. vice president olague: thank you.
>> and we have a group of neighbors that takes great issue with the size of the project and the proposed rooftop deck will remove all privacy from our bedroom. the aerial reviews on this view show this is block thing up here is the run room and the top of my house which is the bedroom in a direct line of sight and on the same level as my bedroom that's just 25 feet away. there's only one house in between myself and the project sponsor. we did what the city advised and came together as a group and respectfully following the city's process. we are new to the process unlike the project sponsor who have done this many times before. he can steam to get the project through the system and labelled us as villain. we are just trying to preserve our neighborhood. if we say nothing, builders will take advantage of the system.
don't be fooled. this is what he does and it's about the greed and expense of his neighbor. please hear us today. as long as mr. paul continues to manipulate the words to justify his client's greed, projects like this will continue to eat away at our green space until nothing is left. i never thought at my age i would be fighting for my bedroom privacy while living in a special use district. this kind of greed is being spotlighted everywhere and now it has entered my neighborhood. i'm asking you for help. we are a regular group of neighbors working and raising children and living our lives. we are being forced to go up against a developer in order to save our privacy. we do not have the money to build our houses up and out with rooftop decks. this is san francisco. aren't we supposed to be about conserving green open space in all neighborhoods? the scale of the project is wrong and out of character for
this neighborhood. in order to accomplish the goals, it is taking away from his area -- and mr. fung stated a the board of appeals hearing as an example of his personal concern, i am not supportive of roof decks and therefore, not supportive of the staircase and the difference between coming in off the side of the building and one that is the roof and the impact is quite different. please remove the roof top deck on steroids from this project today. president olague: thank you. >> is this working? president olague: it is working. >> i wasn't sure -- president olague: there is an initial bell that goes off to warn you.
view >> i'm john ostrander. the previous zoning administrator, this is not a substandard size lot for the special use district. in your packets as well. specifically, substandard lot is 1,750 square feet. this lot is 2,137 square feet. substandard and number two, this three bedroom, also in your package, this three bedroom, 3 1/2 bathhouse is currently 3,269 square feet, the average side of the neighborhood. it appears bigger because the house is on top of a three-car garage. and this proposal here in front of you today will increase the existing house by an additional 490 square feet and make it the
fifth biggest home on the block. if you include grandfathered building for the special use distri district, the number and size of external decks makes it appear even bigger again. according to the special use district planning codes, the maximum square footage could be no more than 2,170 of the lot size and this is 4716. that's above the maximum code for the district and also for the area before we factor in the decks. overruling the special use district guidelines and granting a variance for this and the zoning administrator specifically stated there was no ground for that variance, it set a precedent. going further and approving the building to that, on this scale contrary to the special use district and the planning codes
set another precedent, especially when there is no demand for hardship. special use district was formed in 1980 to protect the feel of this neighborhood against exactly this type of overdevelopment which will quickly eliminate the shared green space if it goes to that neighborhood special use. if this project is allowed to proceed, it invalidates the special use district planning codes and makes it impossible to protect the special neighborhood going forward. i implore this gathering to protect the neighborhood by rescoping this proposal to conform with it in all the special use district guidelines for setbacks, for building size, and for roof decks. president olague: thank you. >> we have two more d.r. requests to speak.
president olague: there will be time after the d.r.s present. oh, she has to leave? that's fine. that's fine. you have three minutes. that's fine. >> thank you very much. i didn't realize we would be here as long today. i am rett courier and i live at 324 cumberland street which is around the block, around the corner, and i drive by this property with some regularity but i am here today because i have been a remember of the dolores heights improvement club and i have been very aware of the special use district and the guidelines that they have in place to protect the character of the neighborhood and to protect the open green space inside the blocks. and i find that to be, i mean,
that is a wonderful, fabulous thing about my neighborhood. and so i think that the restrictions and the guidelines of the special use district haven't been observed and i don't know enough about this particular project, but it does strike me that there's a terrible precedent that's going to be set. and it affects the whole neighborhood and that's why i came down here to speak to you all today. i hope that you will listen to what all of my neighbors have been saying in the last few minutes. thank you for letting me come to speak out of turn. president olague: thank you. we have two more d.r. requesters. >> good commissioners. my d afternoon, commissioners. my name is chris betcher and i live at 3983 and i am the property owner that is adjacent to the sponsor's project. i am on the east side or the downhillside of the project. thank you for allowing us to
present today. we all live in a wonderful city and i think you are doing a terrific job in keeping it that way and it's complicated, i know. first of all, i would like to say that we see this as a quality of life issue that would affect anyone who will occupy the structures in the future. the last thing any of the neighbors wanted to do is redesign his property. we really wanted the neighbors who have tried to be constructive than handing him what design changes would address our concern. i am here because i think this project has significantly crossed the line anded a this juncture i hope the planning commissioners will address some of those concerns. in my case i am asking the board to take a hard look at the rear yard privacy issues i mention in my request for a discretionary recrew. mr. smith t planner on this case, asserts that the backyard privacy is not protected in the
guidelinesened i am not quite sure how he reached that con complufgs when i looked at -- how he reached that conclusion. when i look at the checklist, there are only two items that relate to the backyard. one is -- one has to do with whether the building can minimize privacy and that was clearly a priority for the checklister to guidelines. and also the design section of the residential guideline also deals explicitly with privacy concerns with a significant negative impact on the use and adjoinment of the backyard because of the articulation. the sponsor's design places a deck with a railing flush with the beginning of the backyard space about 10 feet above grade and essentially looking directly down onto our backyard. the new deck would essentially -- well, let me just continue in an effort to maximze